LEDs for portraiture/glamour on a budget - comparison

Started Apr 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
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LEDs for portraiture/glamour on a budget - comparison
Apr 17, 2012

I have been shooting pageant headshots for several years now, and have been using a Novatron 250 W/s 2-head kit as my primary set up for most of that time. Unfortunately, my venerable Novatrons bit the dust the weekend.

I'm looking for a little bit of a change, and LEDs look like where that might be. I've got a shoot this weekend I can try them on, and have been surfing Amazon for a few hours now. I've come up with two candidates right now, and I'm planning on buying two heads tomorrow to try them. for ~$400 invested, I don't think I can really hurt myself too much.

Fotodiox Pro LED 312AS @ $158.95 ea


They're small and light, and can run on battery power. Batteries are included. Variable power, variable color temp. 130W tungsten equivalent.

Fotodiox Pro LED 500 AV @ $199.95 ea


They're bigger and brighter (450W tungsten equiv), but no battery power built in. I've got "redneck power pack" I use on location at times - 5 car batteries wired to a 1500W power inverter, on a hand truck - but I'm not going to be able to toss them in the back seat and go, or hike out a couple of miles and use them for fill behind a waterfall.

Second, these don't have selectable color temp. Combined with portability issues, I see using this head in studio only, while the 312AS could be taken anywhere and used as a fill light, or for creative effect.

My big question is - is the 312AS going to put off enough light? I used my Novatrons at 20% power most of the time, so I wasn't using those to full potential - but I've never used continuous lights. I'm hoping to keep my lights 4-8' feet from the subject, potentially shot through a 4' round diffuser. I prefer to shoot at ISO 200, f/4, and 1/100.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

 GadsdenGraphics's gear list:GadsdenGraphics's gear list
Nikon D80 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5G ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D
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